South Ridge sends off volleyball team to 1st ever state tournament

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On Thursday the South Ridge Panthers will serve up their first-ever Minnesota State High School volleyball tournament match. On Tuesday afternoon their community rallied at the high school to pay witness to history and send off the Panthers to St. Paul.

Gathering in the gym, family, friends and fans once again celebrated their Section 7A championship upset victory over Northeast Range. South Ridge secured the 3-1 win last Saturday to earn their spot in the Class A bracket.

During the sendoff they took one last lap through the hallways before departing for the quarterfinals.

"I told them that I graduated 30 years ago and we went to state, or played for a state championship in football, and I said you’ll never forget it," head coach Brad Olesiak said. "I still remember it like it’s just happened and I said just enjoy it, it’s going to go by quick but just enjoy it, relax, and have some fun."

Senior Phylesha Preston said their game plan is to, "keep going, try to do our best. We know the girls at state are going to be very good so we’re just going to try as hard as we can to show up."

Their first round foe will be a tough one in top-seeded Mayer Lutheran. First serve is set for Thursday at 5pm.